Potentially Fraudulent E-mail Soliciting Interpreting Services
The AVLIC office has become aware that a number of members have recently received a request to provide interpreting services (ASL) for a consumer who lives in the USA and who will be attending a conference/seminar in Canada. The content of the message does not provide a location, but simply states the conference/seminar will be "in Canada" and requests further details for service provision.
While AVLIC is unable to confirm if this request is legitimate or fraudulent, all members are urged to carefully negotiate terms and conditions and to use discretion when booking any interpreting services.
In a previous e-mail scam targeted at ASL-English interpreters, the process looked like this:
- Request for services sent by e-mail.
- Interpreter responds with requested details.
- Consumer confirms services for a specified date and agrees to forward pre-payment by cashier check (cheque) or bank certified check (cheque).
- When the cheque arrives, it is for more than the agreed upon fees. The consumer asks the interpreter to 'cash the cheque' and to send a money transfer for the overpayment back to the consumer. The excuse is the overpayment was to cover both interpreting services and local accommodations while at the event.
- Interpreter 'cashes the cheque' and it is initially cleared by the bank. Feeling the request is legitimate, the interpreter sends the requested money transfer back to the consumer.
- Some days after the cheque initially clears the bank process, it is flagged as 'fraudulent' and funds are rescinded from the interpreter's account.
- Money transfer fees are not refundable and as a result the interpreter is at a financial loss for the amount of the money transfer.
As a result of the steps above, the interpreter was not only scammed out of the 'overpayment' returned to the consumer by money transfer, but the actual event was also false; the agreed upon work did not occur. Legitimate assignments were turned down for the specified days, so loss of income compounded the financial impact for the interpreter.
Again, AVLIC urges all members to carefully negotiate the terms and conditions of a contract and to use discretion when booking any interpreting services.